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Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Day Out, Kind Of.

It started with few challenges. First, we had to find a parking spot at our favorite breakfast place. And, then finding out the wait was so long we didn't want to wait, the twenty five minutes to get a seat. 

Then we had to climb back in the car and wait for the person who was trying to park next to us to maneuver and coerce her Tahoe into the spot next to us. I sometimes wonder if the person who designs parking lots around this city drives a subcompact, maybe a Smart Car, or a Mini Cooper, without ever taking into account that this corner of the city is the land of mini-vans, Tahoes, Suburbans, Excursions, big cars, that take big parking spaces, and big aisles to swing all that size into them. Obviously, that was kind of an inauspicious start. 


After that it got a better. Our drive to Jeffersonville was really smooth. That stretch of freeway can be so hectic, crowded and aggravating that it was a very pleasant surprise. We cruised pretty much at an officially acceptable speed of slightly more than the posted speed limit. It is funny, that they post a speed limit, and then, according to popular myth, allow you, without penalty to exceed it by a given amount, which is four or five miles an hour. But, we take advantage of that leeway.


Which brings up a sore spot. Why don't people use cruise control? It is a good question, too. If people went a more uniform speed, it would prevent a lot of the weaving, and lane changing, and passing, re-passing, and congestion that curses so many drives across country. At least so many of ours. But, yesterday was peaceful, easy, and with little aggravation.


Surprisingly, the Outlet mall was peaceful, and relatively quiet, there was enough people to make it interesting, and fun, but not enough to consume the sidewalks and push the boundaries of sanity. 

Of course, the Adidas and Nike stores were filled, people in those stores always seem to believe they have certain rights that probably don't really exist. For exampe, the right to stand in the middle of the aisle, and try on shoes. 

 So, if you would like to look at shoes you will need to backtrack, navigate through aisles filled with people contorting themselves in an effort to put on a shoe while standing. Often, thrashing violently, arms flailing, hopping madly from side to side, a little clumsy ballet of gymnastics, followed by a breathless, "how do these look? I think they look good."


But, I don't stay in those stores long, just long enough for a few performances, then I am off, to more peaceful, sedate stores. Yesterday, we even tried a new stores, Pottery Barn, which surprisingly had very little pottery, but some very cool things. One of the things that seemed genius is the acrylic glasses.  They look like real glass, but if you drop them they don't break. Genius, I tell you.

Then we went and bought some clothes for my wife, at a place (Ann Taylor) that always uses headless mannequins.  Why headless?  It is a little disturbing, It is a little hard to tell how good an outfit will look on a person with a head.  "Well, that does look nice on a headless person, can you leave your head at home."  

And a new pair of Nike shoes for me, but we bought them at Famous Footwear, which is a much more polite shoe shopping experience.

And what trip to the outlet mall would be complete without stopping at the Goldfish Cracker store, the snack that smiles back. Officially it is called the Pepperidge Farms store, but everybody understands the real star is the delightful, flavorful fish.

Really, it was a good day, and we had a lot of fun .  And, we had McDonald's for breakfast and Popeye's chicken for lunch.  Days like that are what make life great.  Spending time with your family, and the laughter, and smiles, the sunshine, and crowds, the thrill of finding a good deal, and the joy of being a father, and a husband.  I would give a lot to live a day like that more often.